A woman who was one of Google’s youngest hires at the age of 19 has launched an AI startup focused on one of the oldest problems in B2B sales and marketing: connecting with the right people and companies.
Node, based in San Francisco, officially came out of stealth mode on Tuesday with more than US$16 million in funding, including support from entrepreneur Mark Cuban. The company’s algorithm integrates directly with Salesforce and is designed to help organizations instantly quantify the total addressable market for their products and services. It also recommends specific people within a prospect account and relevant details to form a meaningful connection.
Node founder Falon Fatemi said the idea for using AI to recommend customers and prospects came following six years she spent in various across across the startup world after leaving Google.
“I was making a lot of introductions between people, companies sand resources, and after a while I did an analysis of al the introductions I had made,” she told B2BNN. “The outcomes had resulted in life-changing opportunities. My introductions had led to millions in investments, partnerships, hires — even a merger.”
Fatemi said Node represents her attempt to create an artificial intelligence tool that will do something similar. She said Node’s team uses the web as its database, applying natural language processing and machine learning to create more than half a billion profiles of companies and people based on publicly-available information. Its core IP, however, is in building what she called a “Node graph” that connected the relationships with all those data points, and then making recommendations about potential customers and prospects.
“It’s actually a search engine without the search bar,” she said. “It will recommend that you should reach out to Penny because she was the former buyer at your existing customer, for example. And when you pick up the phone and call Penny, it will tell you to let her know that you’re already working with her direct competitor, or that you went to the same university, or that hey, they’re using technolody that integrates with what you offer.”
The integration with Salesforce, meanwhile, means that Node’s UI will essentially be visible within Salesforce’s CRM and marketing automation tools and connect with existing data on customers and prospects more quickly. That’s why, although pricing details were not announced, Fatemi said Node users can expect to see a return on investment within an eight-week period.
Node is far from the only contender in the race to bring AI to sales and marketing, of course. Cambridge, Mass.-based inbound marketing software firm Hubspot, for example, announced on Tuesday it is acquiring Kemvi, whose DeepGraph product uses AI to verify leads and other functions.